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In Australia, as in other ‘western’ countries, we are said to live in a post-feminist society in which women have achieved equality with men. As we saw in Week 6, the finger is pointed at Middle Eastern countries and Muslim minorities as being fundamentally misogynistic and anti-equality. However, in Australia, women still earn 70% of what men doing the same job do. Feminist theorists have put forward different perspectives on how to redress inequality. While liberal feminism focuses on equal work for equal pay, ‘radical’ feminists have accused them of being too concerned with merely including women in a man’s world. Standpoint theorists have argued that women must be treated equally but differently due to their specific needs. Those concerned with deconstructing the categories of sex and gender have argued that both viewpoints essentialise women according to their biology. They argue for gender to be seen as a social construct. Black and minority world feminists have made the case that the focus on women as a universal category ignores the ways in which women are treated differently according to their race, sexuality, class and ability. The question remains of how best to ensure equality between men and women.
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